BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  AB 1980
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   May 4, 2010

                                 Mary Hayashi, Chair
                   AB 1980 (Hayashi) - As Amended:  April 28, 2010
          SUBJECT  :   Veterinary medicine.

           SUMMARY  :   Authorizes the administration of first aid to sick,  
          injured, homeless, or unwanted domestic pets or animals by  
          employees of an animal control shelter or humane society.   
          Specifically,  this bill  :

          1)Authorizes the administration of first aid to sick, injured,  
            homeless, or unwanted domestic pets or animals without the  
            presence of a veterinarian by employees of an animal control  
            shelter and its agencies or humane society.

          2)States that this bill does not authorize a person to act  
            outside the scope of his or her employment.

           EXISTING LAW  :

          1)Provides for the regulation of the practice of veterinary  
            medicine by the Veterinary Medical Board (Board) and prohibits  
            that practice without a license.

          2)Specifies that the Veterinary Medicine Practice Act (Act) does  
            not prohibit an employee of an animal control shelter or human  
            society from administering sodium pentobarbital for euthanasia  
            if the employee has received proper training in that  

           FISCAL EFFECT  :   Unknown.  This bill is keyed non-fiscal.

           COMMENTS  :   

           Purpose of this bill  .  According to the author's office, "Many  
          animals arrive at shelters during off hours and in emergency  
          conditions.  They need immediate attention which may not be  
          available by a veterinarian, such as treating cuts or injuries.   
          Additionally, since smaller animal control agencies may not have  
          a veterinarian on staff, sick or injured animals may suffer  
          needlessly while waiting for medical care by an outside  


                                                                  AB 1980
                                                                  Page  2


           Background  .  The Board's mission is to provide protection to  
          consumers and animals through proper licensing of veterinarians  
          and registered veterinary technicians, and through vigorous,  
          objective enforcement of the Act.

          Although the Board does not regulate shelters, per se, various  
          changes in the landscape of animal shelters and shelter medicine  
          have caused the Board to review the veterinary medicine  
          requirements for shelters. 

          According to the Board, if shelters are providing veterinary  
          care, they are practicing veterinary medicine.  The Veterinary  
          Medicine Practice Act defines the practice of veterinary  
          medicine as diagnosing, prescribing, and treating of an animal  
          for the prevention, cure, relief of a wound, fracture, bodily  
          injury, or disease.  These procedures fall under the  
          jurisdiction of the Board. 

          Animal control shelters are regulated under the California Food  
          and Agriculture Code, Civil Code, and Penal Code.  City, county,  
          and city and county animal control shelters and its agencies are  
          mandated to provide "necessary and prompt veterinary medical  
          care to animals housed in an animal control shelter" to care for  
          adoptable animals and protect the public good. 

          The Board has interpreted the "necessary and prompt" requirement  
          of veterinary medical care to permit unlicensed employees to  
          administer basic care to protect the public and animals in the  
          absence of a veterinarian.  All other on-going and regular  
          veterinary medical care must be provided by or under the  
          supervision of a licensed California veterinarian.


                                                                  AB 1980
                                                                  Page  3

          Thus, this bill codifies existing interpretations of the Board  
          and clarifies that it is not intended to impact any existing  
          scopes of practice.  


          PawPAC (sponsor)
          Antelope Valley Kennel Club Inc.
          California Federation of Dog Clubs

          None on file.
          Analysis Prepared by  :    Rebecca May / B.,P. & C.P. / (916)